My college transcript is loaded with courses that ended in “ology” the study of everything from hard sciences like biology and geology to psychology, anthropology, sociology and even 9 hours of hominology, which was a required course offered nowhere now. All resulted in a degree in what else but behavioral sciences!
After reading and re-reading my son a children’s book I Want To Read it became obvious that learning was an important part of my life and with any luck it would end up being important to him as well. I got hooked on learning early in life and thought the purpose of any schooling was to learn. It wasn’t until nearing graduation at Black Hills State College I was asked what career I was pursuing. Career? I was in college to learn. Why else would I be taking all those “ology” courses? That question caused me make a decision to join Teacher Corps and get an education degree, and through it “nudge” people the rest of my life to love learning.
Actually became a more important word lately, as it begins most of my nephew, Weston's sentences, and actually "nudging" is a real term used now days by behavioral scientists who are working on ways to better serve the American People for social good by simply using a word or phrase differently. Examples could be to encourage veterans to use available services, add the word earned since they had earned the right to services because of their own service to our country; to stress to children they all can learn, stress the brain is a muscle, work it. Words can be powerful, use them for good.
This week I went to a memorial service for a woman who was a teacher who figured out the "ology" of teaching children in new ways before those new ways made headlines and became standards that have made learning easier for children. She mentored new teachers in learning styles and how to move children from rows to learning groups, mixing children throughout the day so success came more easily to them all. I didn’t even know she had been a teacher, much less a great one until she was gone.
We miss opportunities by not coming to know each other better. Ask those questions, let's find out more from each other. Pauline Sanders and her husband were Martin Lively’s grandparents, roles they held with great pride, but the lessons on teaching and surely her love it I missed learning from her.
While standing on the new Stepps Ford bridge in the early morning and marveling at the span, the marvelous Neosho River flowed beneath, the “madtoms” were establishing themselves and daring us to bother them. John Clarke the County Commissioner for the district was pleased with the bridge, but also appreciated fishing spots this spring might be a bit easier to reach.
Standing with the designers, builders, Jack Dalrymple who donated land to the cause, Betty and Prentice Robinson and others out early that cool morning Gary Crow took the ribbon cutting picture. The bridge it replaced had been closed since 2013 and had not been strong enough to allow fire trucks or ambulances to cross.
We cross bridges, in this life and into the next. The Creeks believe we all have to cross over a log to get from this world to the hereafter, a big log, not so hard to cross, but the animals are the log-keepers and if you have treated animals in a cruel way, they can turn the log and you will not make it across, but will find yourself falling as in those dreams, but never landing. The kindnesses we can do to each other, and to the four-legged, let us just go ahead and say or do them. Ask that question, engage in knowing the people in your life in a new way. Learn from them or continue learning in whatever way fits you now.
We know we will cross bridges, perhaps a log, when we get to it. Each of us, but the folks on the other side of the Stepps Ford Bridge will sleep safer now that help can also cross it.
"Actually" Planning to Nudge You -
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim
* "I'll cross that bridge when I get to it"- The ultimate origin of this proverb, a caution not to anticipate trouble and often put as don't cross a bridge till you come to it, has been lost. The earliest recorded use is in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's The Golden Legend (1851).